MEMPHIS, Tenn. (12/1/10) – It took overtime for the No. 14/15 Memphis Tigers to post a win past the Arkansas State men's basketball team 78-71,ending the longest opening road trip in school history at the FedEx Forum Wednesday night.
Memphis improved to 6-0 on the season while ASU fell to 1-6. The Red Wolves return home for six of their next eight, opening their home slate against Lyon College Monday at the Convocation Center. Game time against Lyon is set for 7:05 p.m.
Arkansas State gave the nationally-ranked squad all they wanted winning the battle of the paint 36-34 and keeping the rebounding stat even at 37. ASU took advantage of 17 Memphis turnovers to score 20 off the miscues.
ASU had four players score in double-digits led by junior guard Daniel Bryant who had 16 and was 4-5 from the free-throw line. Senior Donald Boone added 12 while junior forward Martavius Adams turned in his second-straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Malcoln Kirkland rounded out the double-digit scorers for ASU adding 10 and had five rebounds.
The Red Wolves overcame an 18-point first-half deficit and tied the game on a free-throw by junior guard Daniel Bryant with just 34-seconds remaining in regulation. ASU defended well on the next possession, forcing the game to overtime.
"We played well, we got down, we came back and had an opportunity to win at the end," said ASU head coach John Brady. "I think at one point we held them without a field goal the last five or so minutes of the game and that is very good for us to do particularly, in this environment against a team that athletic and that quick. I think it showed what we think our team can be. Now, I'm not saying we can go in and play every team in the country and play them every night like this, but, certainly there is something in our team that if we can get them to play like this, concentrate and execute, we have a chance to be a good basketball team. Even with our difficult start."
In the first half, Memphis dashed out to an 18-point (23-5) lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. The Red Wolves came-back cutting the lead to 11 at the break, 35-24.
Senior forward Jeremy Thomas, who drew his first start of the season, led the team in scoring with six points and four rebounds. ASU shot 29.4% (10-34) in the first half but outscored Memphis in the paint 12-10. Thomas finished with seven points and six boards.
Sophomore Trey Finn picked up three steals in the first half, and Memphis as a team coughed up the ball 11 times in the first half. Finn also had two rebounds.
The Red Wolves went on a 9-2 run to begin the second-half including five points from Boone.
A Finn three-pointer with 15:53 remaining in the second half cut the Memphis lead to just three, 42-39. Memphis guard Joe Jackson hit a three but was fouled on the follow-through hitting the free throw and stretching the Memphis lead back to seven on the ensuing possession, 46-39.
Following a pair of free throws by Finn, the Red Wolves were again within three with 9:55 remaining, 55-52.
The Red Wolves got back within three when Bryant completed an old-fashioned three-point play with 6:30 remaining in the game, 60-57.
Bryant brought the Red Wolves within just one point when he hit a three with 2:10 left in the game 65-64.
Bryant tied the game for ASU with 34.1 seconds remaining in regulation when he connected on the first of two free throws, 65-65. A missed shot by Memphis' Crawford on the final possession of the game forced the overtime.
Adams scored four-straight points to give ASU a four-point lead, 69-65 with 3:37 remaining in the overtime period.
Baskets by Jackson and Witherspoon evened the score at 69-69 and Carmouche then sank two free throws to give Memphis a two-point lead, 71-69 with 2:10 remaining in overtime which the tigers would never relinquish.
A three-point play by Jackson stretched out Memphis' lead to 74-69 with 1:11 remaining in the extra period.
Kirkland hit a pair of free-throws to get ASU back within three with 29.4 remaining on the clock, 74-71, but ASU was unable to retake the lead.
Will Barton led the Tigers with 20 points, but was held to just 7-16 from the field.
ASU shot 50-percent and 40-percent in the second half and overtime respectively, finishing the game shooting 38.8% (26-67). The Red Wolves were 14-18 from the free throw line (77.8%).